New York, NY
Before I talk about the race lets discuss the security!! wow!! The two cowards who set bombs off last year at Boston has really changed races. I haven’t seen anything like this at any race in the past year. There were so many cops and bomb sniffing dogs. German Shepherds everywhere. Bag restrictions are super tight, no backpacks, no bags, nada. You are only allowed one small clear bag that is given to you at packet pick up. That is all fine and dandy if it was summer, it was 30 degrees and windy, the heat sheet given post race is not going to keep you warm. I planned ahead and gave my friend a set of warm clothes for post race. The streets around Central Park were all blocked off, even to runners. I was jogging up and down Central Park South to warm up and the NYPD kept yelling at runners to get off the street. We mostly ignored them because it was cold, and we needed to warm up. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful NYPD was out in full force, it just seemed way over board and makes me wonder how much more the price will go up next year. Gotta pay the cops! THEN we had to go thru metal detectors just like at the airport. WHAT?! More Sacurrittyy?!? I waited until the last minute to head to my corral and hadn’t noticed thats what the line was for, I assumed it was for the port potties. It did make no lines for the bathroom- so that was good. The line was moving at a decent pace but wow, this was crazy. All runners went thru, emptied their pockets etc… Surprised we didn’t have to take off our shoes. Once thru security they were strict about staying in your corral, however, anyone and there mom could enter the park. So what is the point of these lines & metal detectors if people can still enter the park?! Most of the runners seemed patient but we were all in disbelief and hope this is not the future of road races. Okay enough of that for now……
My goal was to lower my time from last year, which was 1:42. I knew I had it in me and had been running around 1:40 for about a year. I spent a lot of this winter on a mountains snowboarding which strengthened my quads a bunch, and that lead to better training and overall feeling stronger. My coach also did something different this time—he told me to go out hard then just focus on holding that pace. WHAT?! I was confused at first. He has drilled it in me to start out easier and negative split. I am always telling him he is holding me back, but not this time.
The course goes around Central Park— most everyone is familiar with the hills, lots of hills for 6 miles, then its all downhill flat from there. I had no problem going out hard, ran the hills with ease, kept my pace, and didn’t let the brutal cold wind bother me. Hey at least the sun was out! At the 10k mark I made the mistake and took my Hammer Gel, two endurolytes and chugged my Heed all at once. Bad idea! My stomach was upset for a couple miles, almost feeling like I was going to need a porta potty. I held it! Miles 7 – 12 can be pretty boring down the west side highway. It seems like the finish will never come. Good thing I had some super fans waiting at Mile 10 — the Faweeds are the best sign makers ever. I rarely have fans (never) so it’s a big deal to see friends. Just seeing their faces for a quick second is like an adrenaline shot. Thank you again Faweeds & Adrienne!!! I really really really appreciate that you guys woke up early on a cold Sunday morning 😉
The last mile goes thru the Battery Tunnel and its nice and warm. Aaaaaaaaah! I was pumping as hard as I could. I wasn’t feeling any pain and decided I would not peep at my garmin until i was done. We exit the tunnel and there is a slight uphill with about 800 yards to go. One left turn, right turn, then left turn with 200 yards to the finish. Sprinting as hard as I could I knew I was under 1:40, hoping I nailed a 1:35….. Almost! Ran my last mile in 6:54 and finished in 1:38. I was pumped, hit my goal I was freezing. No friends/family allowed in finish area, we were greeted by friendly German Shepherds again. My awesome friend Damian lives a few blocks from the finish and I headed straight to his place where a Bloody Mary was waiting along with my warm clothes, and friends. It was a good day! Thank you Damian for hosting!
I ran good splits and look forward to running even faster. I know if the stars align on a flat course, no wind, I have a 1:30 in me. Until then……..
New Jersey Marathon is up next. I have 5 weeks. I am totally confident I will lower my time. I am putting it out there now —-I will run sub 3:35. As long as I stay healthy and injury free– i’m getting it done. I don’t care if I cant walk after, I will push it out!!